Osteochondroses

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Synonyms: the ischaemic necroses

This group of conditions mainly affect children; and all involve a defect in ossification at either the bone epiphysis (growing plate), the joint surface itself, or at an apophysis (bony projection).[1]

When articular surfaces become ischaemic, osteochondritis develops - this is associated with avascular necrosis and sclerosis.

The underlying defect in the different osteochondroses is usually not known but the mechanism often relates to trauma or stress on the area affected. Commonly there is breakdown of the area with poor mineralisation. Articular surfaces that develop osteochondritis may fragment (osteochondral fracture = osteochondritis dissecans), eg in the knee, elbow, ankle, etc.

The osteochondroses are often classified as follows (click on links for separate related articles):

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  1. Pessler F, Sherry D; Osteochondroses,Merck Manual, 2008.
Author:
Dr Laurence Knott
Document ID:
2548 (v23)
Last Checked:
21 May 2010
Next Review:
20 May 2015

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